“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Love one another—as the most extremely selfish person on the planet, this one is a tough one for me. Putting people before myself is not in my nature.
Last week, I had two little instances where I experienced the love of others in two small ways and it has challenged me to be more intentional at how I’m loving the people around me—my family, friends, neighbors, and even rand-o people on the street.
First, I came home one night to discover a package with my name on it. I wasn’t expecting anything, so I was slightly puzzled. I opened it up to find a book on prayer from my sweet friend Meg. During our little mini-series on prayer
, she thought I would enjoy it. Meg is one of my favorite people in the world, so the thought that she would take the time in the midst of a demanding law school schedule to find and purchase a book for me, meant so much! I felt incredibly loved.
A few days later, I was running (an extremely new concept to me that you may hear about more as I’m “training” for a 10K at the end of October). Towards the end of my run, I was struggling (as in about to keel over and die). Suddenly a woman on her bike breezed by and gave me a little fist pump and a thumbs up to spur me on. As cheesy as it sounds, I felt so loved by this stranger. Clearly, I looked as if I was about to fall over and her little act of encouragement kept me going. That a sporty cyclist would even take time to say, “You’re doing a great thing, keep it up!” meant so much to my nonathletic self and gave me a burst of energy to keep going and finish stronger than I started.
Love one another.
Jesus cares that we love His children, those we know, and those we don’t. We’re called to love those that He puts in our lives. As hard as it can be for me to love those around me, in thinking about how grateful I am to receive love from others, why do I hold back?
“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
I talk all the time about God’s incredible love for us, but Jesus tells us “just like I love you, you need to love others.” I’m always eager to receive God’s love for me, but when it comes to reciprocating that love to others, I often don’t.
Love one another.
Who doesn’t love to feel loved? Loving others is not only a great way to honor and obey God, but it’s also a wonderful way to indirectly reveal a glimpse of God’s love to others. It doesn’t have to be fancy, or involve a loquacious soliloquy, just love each other.
“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
1 John 4:12
I’m not one to be giving advice on how to love others, but I think a great place to start is an extremely familiar passage found in Corinthians:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love one another.